Leicester H 7th November 2021
From the bottom of my heart, I want to thank everyone who has taken to time to speak, comment on Facebook, hugged, given support via expressions etc for the support my family have received from what I wrote yesterday on social media. For those unaware, my husband Phillip (Captain for those who know him through the Leeds United Supporters Club), after being given the all clear from throat cancer which started three years ago, he has now been diagnosed with cancer in his lung. Those who are receiving treatment themselves or have been through it as a family, know exactly what this entails and have taken time off their own troubles to show their support too. At this moment in time, we are waiting for biopsies to take place to know exactly what we are dealing with including treatment options and prognosis. Initially this week with us both being knocked for six, it felt like all the fight had drained from us but now we have a more positive outlook and are ready to fight this as a family. This is what being Leeds means to me as the Leeds United family comes together to support each other and I am forever grateful that our fans are so special.
After picking two of my granddaughters Hannah and Laura up, we then collected my daughter Danielle. After all the challenges we had this week, an addition was Danielle having an overnight stay in hospital although at the moment we are non the wiser for her extreme pain. It never rains but it pours for us and as I wait for my telephone appointment to discuss my recent scan results with the doctor, as the saying goes, things come in threes. Well, we have had more than our fair share thank you very much.
I was looking forward to going to the Fan zone to see the Centenary Whites play before the game. They didn’t disappoint and it was great having a sing song and listening to the Leeds songs put to popular music by Paul Wilson and the rest of the team. They are well worth going to see and the 19th November sees them performing at the Irish Centre along with other acts. If you haven’t already got your tickets, then come and join us for a great evening amongst Leeds United fans. We got in the ground ready for the minute’s silence for Armistice Day on the 11th November, remembering our Armed Forces. Thanks to the Thames Valley Whites for sharing their remembrance flag photo.
Team: Meslier, Cooper, Forshaw (making his first Premier League game start for two years after his comeback from injury), Raphinha. James, Rodrigo, Harrison, Phillips, Struijk, Dallas and Llorente.
Subs: Roberts for Harrison (83), Cresswell for Forshaw (90).
Subs not used: Klaesson, Klich, Drameh, Bate, Hjelde, McKinstry and Summerville.
Leeds drew the game 1-1 with Raphinha scoring the Leeds goal (26).
Attendance: 36,478 with 2,901 Leicester fans.
Referee: Darren England.
On seeing that Forshaw was starting the game in midfield, I knew that our midfield would be stronger today. It was also going to be interesting seeing Struijk play at left back but as he is a natural left footer, at least he was playing on his better side. Leeds were the first to attack with Rodrigo’s shot saved by the keeper before Meslier was called into action too. Leeds came very close to scoring when Harrison saw his shot saved that was destined for the top corner of the goal. From the resulting corner, Phillips saw his header saved, Raphinha was then brought down in the penalty area but appeals for a penalty were waved away before James saw his shot go narrowly wide. Leeds were awarded a free kick on the right of the penalty area which Raphinha took himself. Elland Road erupted when his free kick hit the back of the net to put Leeds into the lead just before 30 minutes were on the clock. With Leeds fans still celebrating, we couldn’t quite believe it when Leicester straight from kick off went towards the Kop and put the ball into the net, once again showing we couldn’t keep a lead. Both sides had a further chance before the whistle blew for half time.
Leeds started the second half on the back foot after a back pass from Cooper put Meslier under pressure and we gave a sigh of relief when the ball went wide of the post. Leicester then had a shot that went wide from the corner. A great chance from a corner saw Phillips’s pass to Harrison only for the ball to go sailing over the bar. James after some great work was let down as his final shot went over the bar, then Rodrigo saw his shot saved by the keeper. As Leeds attacked again the same two players came close to scoring with both shots going narrowly wide. When Leicester put the ball into the net to go into the lead, it felt like we were pushing a self-destruct button. By not preserving our lead we had put ourselves under pressure once again. Suddenly it came on the score board that VAR was looking for a possible offside decision which went in our favour, upping the Leeds support into a frenzy. As Leicester attacked again, Meslier raced off his line making a vital save to keep them out. He was called on to make a save a few minutes later and last gasp defending by Phillips kept them out again. With a final shot from Raphinha going narrowly over the game ended in a draw. The positive is that we got a point out of the game.
I thought we had played well in large parts of the game, sadly switching off for the crucial minute after we had taken the lead. Rodrigo and James were linking up well and with better finishing from James it may have been a different story. It felt like he was trying too hard to score but I don’t feel it will be long before he does. Struijk had a good game at left back too which was good to see. With one Leicester player, I couldn’t believe I was praising him for not staying in a heap on the floor but getting up after a tackle! There again they had a few instances of time wasting and falling down when they tried to slow the game down, but on the whole they were a lot better than some of the recent teams. With the next international break upon us, we have a couple of weeks for some of our injured players to get up to speed hopefully before our trip to Spurs. See you then, LUFC – Marching on Together!